Shillong, Aug 5: Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said net work issues prevent the state government from providing smart phones to students to bridge the digital divide during Covid.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, he said there is no proposal to provide smartphones to students to address the issue of digital divide in education due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Rymbui said if the government is to provide smartphones to over 34,000 students, who were declared successful by the MBoSE in the SSLC examination, it will cost the state not less than Rs 150 crore.
“And that also it is not that once you provide the gadgets it is okay but you have to have the data which will also cost. Not only that, we also have the problem of network connectivity,” he said.
According to the minister, such challenges are not connected to Meghalaya alone but all over the country.
Rymbui congratulated all the students, who despite the challenges faced due to Covid-19 could clear the examination.
The state recorded 52.91 pass per cent in the SSLC examination, which saw a slight increase when compared to last year’s 50.31 per cent.
Strategies to improve result
Rymbui said with two-pronged strategies, results can be improved. One is to improve the quality of teaching and education and the other is to help as much as possible that students could pass their exams.
“It is not only in the hands of the government, it is in the hands of the students, parents and teachers and if we work together and synchronize our minds together to help our children I think, we will achieve a higher percentage,” he said.
South West Garo Hills registered the lowest pass percentage of 23.01.
Rymbui, however, said the performance of Garo Hills region is always below par.
Panel for academic evaluation
He said in view of this, the government had formed a committee for academic evaluation in Garo Hills and the same had submitted a report which calls for some interventions to address the issue.
The minister said the government cannot do much as the teaching could not be conducted. “So this process of evaluation is already in the mind of the government”, he said.
Rymbui said the committee analysed why this happened so the report has already been submitted by the committee in 2020 .
“We have already implemented some of recommendations but we could not do all as we need classroom teachings to start and movement of people from one place to another need to start – so we will do what needs to be done,” he said.